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Fayose urges Buhari to remove INEC boss

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Ahead of the forthcoming governorship polls in Kogi and Bayelsa States, the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on Sunday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke the appointment of Mrs Amina Zakari as Acting Chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), noting that since her tenure as National Electoral Commissioner had expired on July 21, 2015, she cannot continue to preside legally on INEC affairs.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said since INEC still has four National Electoral Commissioners, Abdukadir Oniyangi, Mohammad Wali, Chris Iyimoga and Lawrence Nwuruku, whose tenure are yet to expire, any of them should act as INEC chairman.

According to Fayose, apart from the danger that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his in-law, Mrs Amina Zakari as Acting Chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) pose to democracy in the country, the position is unknown to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The governor, who called on all lovers of democracy in the country to rise in defence of the impartiality of INEC, which he described as the only factor that can sustain democracy, added that “the most honourable thing for President Buhari to do is to rescind the unlawful appointment of Mrs Zakari as INEC Acting Chairperson.”

Fayose said: “Since Mrs Zakari’s tenure as INEC National Electoral Commissioner has expired, she cannot continue to preside legally on INEC  affairs, except if duly appointed as substantive Chairman of the commission as provided in Section 154 (1) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“One of the major legacies bequeathed to Nigeria by the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government was free, fair and credible electoral process and President Buhari, who is a beneficiary of this legacy must sustain this legacy by ensuring that the impartiality of the electoral umpire is unblemished by suspicions of partisanship and illegal appointments.

“Two weeks ago, respected former lawmaker and former top civil servant, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, revealed that he knew Mrs. Zakari since childhood, and that her late father, the former Emir of Kazaure, was married to President Buhari’s elder sister.

“Alhaji Yakassai, went on to reveal that President Buhari lived with and spent a significant part of his early years in the home of Amina
Zakari’s father.

“This is enough establishment of conviviality between Mrs Zakari and President Buhari, whose party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be standing elections with other political parties this year and this will no doubt cast credibility aspersion on any election conducted by INEC headed by Mrs Zakari.”

He said Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which established INEC and other Federal Executive Bodies did not make any
provision for the appointment of Acting Chairman.

Declaring the appointment as illegal, Governor Fayose said, “Section 154 (3) provided that the President shall consult the Council of State
in exercising his powers to appoint a person as the chairman of INEC and there is no record of such consultation before the appointment of
Mrs Zakari as INEC ‘Acting Chairperson.’

“The only requisite condition for Mrs Zakari to be acting as the chairman of INEC is that she must be a National Electoral Commissioner
and her tenure as National Electoral Commissioner ended on July 21, 2015.

“As at today, there are four National Electoral Commissioners in INEC instead of 12. They are Abdukadir Sulaimanu Oniyangi, Mohammad Ahmad Wali, Chris Iyimoga and Lawrence Nwuruku. If anyone should act as INEC chairman, it should be any of the remaining four National Electoral Commissioner, not someone whose tenure has expired.

“The danger in this is also that any action taken by INEC with Mrs Zakari as its head will amount to illegality and it is hoped that President Buhari will avoid plunging Nigeria into an avoidable legal quagmire by rescinding immediately, the illegal appointment of Mrs Zakari as INEC Acting Chairperson, a position that is not known to the Constitution of Nigeria.

“Therefore, ignoring facts suggesting that the INEC Acting Chairperson and President Buhari are in-laws is dangerous to democracy in the
country, and lovers of democracy in the country must rise in defence of the impartiality of INEC now.”

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POLITICS

2023: INEC redeploys RECs, others

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INEC insists APGA won’t participate in Anambra guber poll

As part of the preparations for the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the redeployment of some of its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and posting of staff.

The redeployment was announced in a statement issued by Festus Okoye Esq, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman for Information and Voter Education, on Tuesday, in Abuja.

Mr. Okoye said the redeployment and posting, affecting 385 staff nationwide, was a routine exercise which will continue from time to time.

Those affected in the redeployment include two RECs and eight Directorate level staff, amongst others.

“In line with the extant policy, the commission hereby redeploys two Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECs) eight Directorate level staff, ” he said.

According to Mr Okoye, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, REC, Cross River state, had been redeployed to REC, Akwa Ibom State, while Dr Alalibo Johnson Sinikiem, REC, Edo state had been moved to Cross River state.

He said that Engineer Paul Omokore, Director, Planning and Monitoring Department, Headquarters, Abuja, had been redeployed as Director, ICT, Headquarters, Abuja; Engineer Chidi Nwafor, Director, ICT to Administrative Secretary, Enugu State ;Mr Chima Duruaku, Administrative Secretary, Anambra state to Director, Planning and Monitoring Department, Headquarters, Abuja; and Mr jude Okwuanu, Administrative Secretary, Enugu State to Administrative Secretary, Anambra State.

Others include, Usman Musa Wase, Acting Director, Human Resource Management, Headquarters, Abuja, who had been redeployed as the Acting Administrative Secretary, Nasarawa State; Mr Salisu Garba, Director in the Electoral Operations Department to Director, Procurement, Headquarters, Abuja; Barr. Waziri Zanna, Acting Administrative Secretary, FCT to Acting Director, Human Resource Management, Headquarters, Abuja; while Godwin Wada Edibo, Acting Administrative Secretary, Nasarawa State had been redeployed as the Acting Administrative Secretary, FCT.

He further noted that the redeployment/postings take immediate effect, while handing and taking over should be concluded on/or before Friday 26th August, 2022.

2023: INEC redeploys RECs, others

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JANDOR meets PDP state, senatorial, and LGA women leaders, unites state woman leader and Lagos4Lagos state woman leader

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The Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (JANDOR) on Monday played host to the party woman leaders in the state, the three senatorial districts, and the 20 local Government areas who visited to share their campaign and mobilization plans for the 2023 gubernatorial election.

The party women leadership delegation was led by the State Woman Leader, Hon. Mrs. Idowu Akinsanya. She expressed the resolution of all women in the party to eschew all divisive tendencies and unite towards the actualization of electoral victory for the party.

She noted that Lagos PDP women are willing to be sacrificial in this dispensation and that every party faithful should also follow suit by not expecting pecuniary motivation as a condition for supporting the JAFUN Eko project.
JANDOR in his address appreciated the women leaders for the stabilizing role they have been playing in the party over the years. He commended them for their resolve to work for the party without expecting immediate compensation.
He however appealed to the women leaders to ensure total reconciliation of all warring groups across the local government, wards, and down to the polling units.

JANDOR used the occasion to unite the PDP State Woman Leader, Hon. Mrs. Idowu Akinsanya and the State Woman Leader for the Lagos4Lagos Movement, Pst Mrs. Odunsi. He mandated the two apex leaders to ensure that other women under them are also truly and properly integrated.

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Opposition engaging in propaganda to discredit APC – Adamu

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdulahi Adamu, has lamented that the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is engaging in propaganda to discredit the ruling party ahead of the 2023 elections.

Adamu stated this Tuesday when a group of APC Professionals led by former Governor of Bauchi state, Isa Yuguda, visited him at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

Adamu decried that most of the programmes of the APC-led administration were not getting to the grassroots because leadership at that level was driven by those who are not educated.

His words: “One thing which I want to make some reference to is the fact of the position of your forum itself. If you listen to our political activities, one thing you may wish to take a serious look at and see how best you can be of some assistance to our effort is the activity of the party at the grassroots where it mattered most.

“Leadership at this level is being driven by those who are not educated, they are very vulnerable, very, extremely vulnerable.

“So, we need to imbibe the culture of an enlightened leadership driven by knowledge. We don’t all have to be graduates or diploma holders, but an enlightened mind is open and it is a bit narrow for now. This is missing in our effort to get people to appreciate who we are as a party, what we are doing as a party, how we can be appreciated as a party

“We are having the misfortune of the effort of this government not getting to the grassroots – positive publicity of what this government is doing. All that those who care to talk want to say is about the negative aspect of government

“We know that all over the world,the opposition is seen as the underdog and so there is apparent sympathy for them. I have no quarrel with this. Go and sympathize with them but call a spade a spade. Don’t give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

“This is what we are experiencing. This is what we are experiencing. All the good things that have happened thus far in this administration have not received the kind of publicity it deserves.”

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